A Santa Ana man was being questioned Tuesday after authorities found what appeared to be two jars of mercury that the man’s girlfriend says he had threatened her with.
Police say the woman called 911 and said her boyfriend threatened to kill her.
"She stated she had been an argument with her boyfriend and during that argument he made threats he was going to kill her using drops of mercury," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said.
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At two locations, first responders in Santa Ana said they found what appears to be jars of mercury. The first one was at a woman’s apartment.
Police in Santa Ana say preliminary tests indicate the mercury found in the jars, which in high concentrations, can be highly toxic. They say they’re trying to determine now if this man is to be arrested for threatening to poison his girlfriend.
The Orange County fire authority responded to the apartment and found the first jar, which the woman said she had thrown in the bushes after her boyfriend threatened her. Then, they went to the boyfriend’s home, where police say the boyfriend directed them to a jar inside a safe.
Police say an early test showed that jar contained mercury, too.
"Fire department got there, they saw what they had they believed it was potentially mercury, which they did not want to open because of toxic fumes," Bertagna said.
Police say the jars were given to the Orange County Health Department and that the boyfriend was taken to the police department for questioning. Police said they were in the process of getting a search warrant to look inside the man's home to see if there are any other dangerous materials inside.
"He told me only his girlfriend she’s in the hospital," a worker near the home of the man being questioned said.
Santa Ana police said after the man is questioned, they’ll present the case to the district attorney's office to see if there will be any charges. They say it does not appear there are any laws against possession of mercury, but the man may face charges of making criminal threats.